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For Immediate Release
June 25, 2019

DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES URGES CAUTION WHEN HANDLING SPARKLING DEVICES DURING THIS FOURTH OF JULY

All other types of consumer fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners and aerial devices, remain illegal statewide

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and State Office of Fire Prevention and Control today urged New Yorkers to handle sparkling devices responsibly when celebrating the Fourth of July next week. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates about 12,900 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks in 2017. Some 67 percent of these estimated injuries occurred during a one-month period around the Fourth of July.

 

“While the Fourth of July offers Americans the opportunity to join with family and friends to celebrate the birth of our great nation, it has also become notoriously synonymous with firework and sparkler-related injuries,” said New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy. “These devices can burn at temperatures as high as 2,000 degrees and can cause serious injuries if mishandled. I urge all New Yorkers to leave the fireworks to the professionals and if they do choose to use sparklers, to do so with extreme caution.”

 

New York State Law allows for the sale and use of a specific category of consumer fireworks known as sparkling devices. Legal ground-based or handheld sparking devices produce a shower of colored sparks or a colored flame, audible crackling or whistling noise and smoke. The devices do not launch into the air. As of today, these devices are legal in all counties except Bronx, Columbia, Kings, Nassau, the City of New York, Queens, Richmond, Schenectady and Suffolk. All other types of consumer fireworks including firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, spinners and aerial devices, remain illegal statewide.

 

“Each year, thousands of individuals, including young children, are injured as a result of using fireworks and sparkling devices,” said State Fire Administrator Francis Nerney. “Don’t become a fireworks injury statistic. Leave the fireworks displays to the experts.”

 

Sales of sparkling devices by certified permanent and specialty retailers can only occur from June 1 to July 5 and December 26 to January 1. Sales of sparkling devices by certified temporary stands or tents can only occur from June 20 to July 5 and December 26 to January 1.

 

Sellers, manufacturers and distributors of sparkling devices must apply for a license from the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and follow other rules and conditions. A list of registered sparkling device vendors appears here.

 

If sparkling devices are legal to purchase in your county, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control offers the following safety tips:

  • Purchase sparkling devices and novelty devices from New York State registered retailers only
  • Always follow the directions located on the packaging
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparkling devices (It is illegal for anyone under 18 years old to use sparking devices)
  • All sparkling devices are for outdoor use only, never use indoors
  • Always wear eye protection when using sparkling devices
  • Never light more than one sparkling device at a time
  • Never point a sparkling device tube towards anyone or any part of your body
  • Keep sparkling and novelty devices in a safe secure location when not in use
  • Never use sparkling devices when under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Always keep an approved fire extinguisher nearby during a display
  • Douse malfunctioning and spent devices with water before discarding to prevent a fire
  • Store sparkling devices in a safe location away from young children
  • Keep unused sparkling devices dry and away from ignition sources

 

For more information on the sale and use of sparkling devices in New York State, visit the Office of Fire Prevention and Control website.

 

About the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control

The Office of Fire Prevention and Control delivers a wide breadth of services to firefighters, emergency responders, state and local government agencies, public and private colleges, and the citizens of New York. The office advances public safety through firefighter training, education, fire prevention, investigative, special operations and technical rescue programs. The delivery of these essential services enables the office to make significant contributions to the safety of all of New York State.

 

About the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter and Instagram, or visit dhses.ny.gov.

 

 

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